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New to the "electric" guitar, what should you learn first?


(@daza152)
Eminent Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 32
Topic starter  

Hi
I've got my new electric guitar and amp and now just want to know what are the important things to learn first?, I have tried a few lead guitar riffs but would like to play some thing a bit longer maybe. I like rock music, classic rock music like Led Zep and Cream and Pink Floyd. Should you learn to play rhythm guitar so you can actually play something, or is this pretty boring especially if your playing on your own? I don't know my pentatonic scales yet, or playing in boxes. What do you suggest??

Thanks need help!

Daza.


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(@shredd-ed)
Active Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 8
 

Hi Daza,

When starting out, I reckon the best idea is to find some tabs for songs you love and learn to play along (rhythm guitar first). Leave the endless scales and chords for later. It's vital to keep it fun so you get excited about going and playing. No boring pratice routines yet!

Once you've played a few songs you'll pick up a few areas where you need to focus on learning certain skills and techniques. Then find out what chords or scales you need to master to nail that bit of song you can't quite get. That gives you a target for practising the same thing over and over again. Once you've nailed that you get a buzz from having worked towards impoving your playing skills.

Just my opinion. I honestly think keeping it fun is vital to keep you playing. You learn best when you are motivated.

Shred on,

Ed

Every time I pick up my guitar, 4 hours of my life just disappears.

It's like being abducted by aliens, but in a good way... :o)


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(@bfloyd6969)
Trusted Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 91
 

Welcome to the guitar! Wonderful instrument. Well, you need to learn how to walk before you can run. Yes, learn the basics first as they will provide the foundation for you to grow on. Pretty much, get a beginner's guitar book and go from there. Most important, if you can swing to get lessons with a good teacher, this is even better. He/she can help you to make sure that you are not forming any bad habits. Bad habits are hard to break once they are formed

Why do we have to get old...


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(@steve-0)
Noble Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 1165
 

All great advice, another tip I'd give is that while it's great to learn alot of riffs, try to learn some full songs too (there are ALOT of songs with simple rhythms, chords and no solos), it's alot easier to play in a band (or with friends) if you know a couple of full songs rather than a million PARTS of songs.

I'm just mentioning this because I fell into this trap when I started playing, I'd start playing something in front of someone and stop halfway through and they'd say "is that it?".

Most importantly have fun and do what you want to do: if you want to play lead guitar, practice some guitar leads. Although I would recommend learning how to play lead and rhythm parts, unless you want to become strickly a lead or rhythm player.

Steve-0


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(@daza152)
Eminent Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 32
Topic starter  

Thanks for all the good advice guys really appreciate it, what I should have mentioned is that I can already play the acoustic guitar, mind you not fantastic at it but can play songs no all the open chords.... its just the songs and sounds are so different to what I'm used too its like starting again only easier on the finger tips thats for sure. Got big gnarly callasers from the old steel string. I think I will play my favourite songs rhthym guitar cause its fun .

Thanks
Daza.


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(@vic-lewis-vl)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 10340
 

its just the songs and sounds are so different to what I'm used too its like starting again only easier on the finger tips thats for sure.

Yep, the electric's a different beastie from the acoustic, that's for sure! Some good advice above; mine would be, take a little time to familiarise yourself with your new instrument. There are quite a few techniques you use more on electric than acoustic; palm muting, partial chords, powerchords, to name just a couple or so. You'll probably find at first you'll play everything the same on electric as you do on acoustic; and it won't sound right, especially if you're using distortion or other effects.

As well as familiarising yourself with a new instrument, you might want to take a little time to get used to your amp as well, try all the different settings out. I notice you haven't actually mentioned whether you've got an amp yet; if you haven't, I'd recommend a modelling amp, something along the lines of a Cube amp, or a Vox ADT 30V....these amps will give you a whole range of different tones without having to fork out for pedals for distortion, echo, delay etc. You can always upgrade later.

Best of luck!

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


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(@daza152)
Eminent Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 32
Topic starter  

Hey thanks for the tips, I am using a marshall mg30 dfx (digital effects) its awesome got a huge range of tones. The songs I'm learning at present are 'Come as you are' it has a nice easy repetitive riff, and 'Sunshine of your love' you know the way that goes, and who wouldn't wanna play that?? Both of those are actually rhythm guitar, which I didn't know until I really listened, its basically the same riff right the way thru. I think I'll probably just stick to learning those well before I embark on something like a solo LOL.

Thanks everyone.

Daza.


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(@minotaur)
Noble Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 1092
 

Hi Daza,

When starting out, I reckon the best idea is to find some tabs for songs you love and learn to play along (rhythm guitar first). Leave the endless scales and chords for later. It's vital to keep it fun so you get excited about going and playing. No boring pratice routines yet!

Once you've played a few songs you'll pick up a few areas where you need to focus on learning certain skills and techniques. Then find out what chords or scales you need to master to nail that bit of song you can't quite get. That gives you a target for practising the same thing over and over again. Once you've nailed that you get a buzz from having worked towards impoving your playing skills.

Just my opinion. I honestly think keeping it fun is vital to keep you playing. You learn best when you are motivated.

Shred on,

Ed

I'm certainly no experienced guitarist, but I second this advice. From experience (good and bad), I'm finding it's better to learn a song in its simplist format, i.e. the basic chords and rhythm, and then add the bells and whistles.

It is difficult to answer when one does not understand the question.


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(@wes-inman)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5599
 

If you already play the acoustic, start with those songs you already know. The first thing you will discover about electric is that your playing mistakes will be far more obvious than on acoustic. Probably half of playing on electric guitar is learning how to control it, learning how to prevent BAD sounds. :D

That may sound strange, but it is really true. There are lots of little techniques you use to stop bad sounds, for instance, resting the side of your palm on strings you don't want to sound. So even if you strike a wrong string, you will not hear it. And you use the fretting hand the same way. All I can say is listen very carefully for these noises and analyze what you are doing and practice to eliminate them. It's seems a little difficult at first, but after awhile it becomes 2nd nature and you will do it without even thinking about it.

Also, while you can play full 6 string chords on electric, electric tends to sound much better on less strings. Learn how to play on 2, 3, or 4 strings, especially with distortion. So, it takes better pick control. Learn to keep your picking hand close to the strings and use the smallest amount of motion possible to play. Again, with practice it becomes easy.

And yes, learn songs from beginning to end. If you can play a song well from beginning to end, the listeners will believe you can play anything. But if you can only play parts of 20 songs they will think you are a hack. Learn songs.

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


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(@daza152)
Eminent Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 32
Topic starter  

What are some simple songs to play on the electric guitar? Rock songs preferably.... anyone got some songs what do most people learn as their first "Electric" guitar song?

Thanks


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(@wes-inman)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5599
 

I would simply play songs you already know by ear and like. We have the Easy Song Database, go through the index, you are sure to see songs you know and like. Start right there. Some simply show the chords and lyrics for a song, others go into more detail and show tab. But it is always an advantage when you know a song by ear, and you are far more likely to practice a song you know and like than one you do not know.

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


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(@muffinz)
New Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 4
 

Well at least around here Smoke on the Water is the ultimate beginners song that pretty much everyone who has ever played guitar knows. Also, in my opinion doesnt this site have that many great rock songs to learn (it's mostly fingerpicking and beatles stuff) so I would recommend going to www.justinguitar.com, he also has very good video lessons for electric guitar techniques (check out the blues section). Another option is just going to ultimate-guitar.com and get some tabs to the songs you like. Hope it helped a little..


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